Elliptical Machines – Just a Fad or Here to Stay?

The debate on whether to use a treadmill or the elliptical machine can go on and on. Old-school proponents of the treadmill stand by this old dependable equipment, claiming that it’s more efficient in reducing weight. Those who are open to new innovations, however, are more open to using elliptical machines.

These two exercise equipments have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s worthwhile to look into them.

Pros of Elliptical Machines

The most obvious advantage of ellipticals over treadmills is the low-impact but satisfactory cardio workout they offer. Because your feet are fixed where they are, there is less risk of injury to the knees or ankles, and this is especially helpful for older people or those with a history of injuries in the past.

Another is the variety that elliptical machines offers. It’s true that you can alter the speed of treadmills, but you could do so much more with ellipticals. There are different resistance levels in most models, plus preprogrammed workouts which keep your sessions from becoming too monotonous.

Elliptical machines are also different from treadmills in that they give you more of a total body workout. Treadmills stretch your lower torso and your legs, while elliptical machines work on your back, arms, shoulders, abdomen, and all those parts that treadmills tone.

This is an excellent piece of equipment for cross trainers because they give you a great cardio without making you feel too worn out. When combined with a weight training regimen, it can be very effective. In fact, many athletes who need to tone their muscles and improve their heart rate in preparation for competition make use of a combination of elliptical training and weight training sessions.

The Cons of Elliptical Machines

There are not that many disadvantages to owning ellipticals, and we may be nitpicking here. However, for the sake of objectivity, we can mention the price, which until now is not that reasonable for many people who prefer to work out at home.

Some elliptical machines can set you back by about $2,000 or more, especially those that carry features we all desire in an exercise machine. There are more affordable ones in the market, such as models ranging from $400-$800, but more often than not, these units won’t last you a long time as the parts tend to wear out too soon.

Elliptical machines are also not as effective in calorie burning than treadmills are. You could depend more on the latter if you want to burn more calories in a shorter time.

There is also the tendency for you to strain yourself using an elliptical if you don’t make it a point to engage in warm-up exercises first before starting your sessions. Looking at it, it may seem easy enough to exercise using one, but as many parts of your body are worked on, there’s no telling what damage it may cause if you throw yourself on elliptical machines without doing the necessary warm-ups first.

As a final note, elliptical machines may not be the best equipment for everyone. Most have maximum weight capacities of up to 300-350 pounds, and there may be individuals who don’t even need the upper body workout. Still, for their compactness and value, it seems elliptical machines are here to stay.